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Opinions of Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Columnist: Issifu Sulemana

Voters register: NDC should stop the tribalism, lies, deciet

This will be one of my most controversial pieces but I've no regrets writing it!

Whenever dry bones is mentioned, the aged become uncomfortable. Whenever ugliness is mentioned, the chimpanzee jumps to defense. Whenever stopping foreigners from getting on Ghana's poll register is mentioned, the NDC becomes digusted, uncomfortable, jittery, edgy, etc.

Why can't the NDC simply proffer alternatives for ridding Ghana's electoral roll of foreigners but rather, prefers to play - tribal card, and to the gallery?

Asiedu Nketia's video proves nothing! It rather highlights the longstanding belief that, the NDC has been bussing people to the polling stations as we all saw in the footage, a truck loaded with people. Why must we take Asiedu Nketia, an avowed opposer of the new register's, commentary and twist on that video seriously?

We cannot continue on this path of lies, tribalism, etc. Where's the evidence that northerners and ewes are being prevented from registering?

I am going to say something sensitive and I know it will wrack nerves but I must say it since I'm a northerner and have a responsibility to expose people who want to use us for political expediency.

Now, this is the issue - there are many tribes in the north. Amongst them are the Sissala, Dagomba, Waala, Dagaate, frafra, Gonja, etc. These tribes are clearly wholly Ghanaians. The truth is that, there are some tribes that can be found in Ghana and other countries. These include Ewes, Mossis, Kotokolis (my wife's tribe ????), Fulanis, Hausas, and a host of others. For the second category of tribes, it's foolish for anyone to say - the level of scrutiny must be the same as that of the former tribes. Whereas the 'Ghanaianness' of the first category of tribes is plane, that of the second category could be contentious.

And so there's nothing wrong if there's heightened scrutiny of the second category's 'Ghanaianness'. That cannot be construed to mean, being denied their citizenship. It's rather a legitimate approach to ascertain their citizenship. No levelheaded person should question 'scrutiny' as that's what all countries do when it comes to settling disputations about one's citizenship.

These are facts and we must face them. I want the NDC to give examples of Dagombas, Waalas, Sissalas, etc who have been frustrated when trying to register. I'm from Tumu in the Upper West region of Ghana, and I can state without thinking twice, that, nobody over there has complained about frustrations but that's an NDC stronghold. None of my family members in Kumasi and Sunyani has faced any difficulty!

We cannot allow NDC to pick on few isolated cases and blow it out of a proportion. Let's pause our emotions which are being exploited by the NDC for a moment and reflect on the facts I have given in this piece.